By CAITLIN MURRAY
With a world-class performance in goal Sunday, goalkeeper Bill Hamid extended D.C. United’s lead to sit four points clear atop the Eastern Conference table.
Buoyed by more magic from the pairing of Luis Silva and Fabian Espindola, D.C. United nabbed a 2-0 win Sunday over the New York Red Bulls in front of 19,453 fans — D.C.’s largest home crowd this season.
Though credit is due to goalscorers Silva and Eddie Johnson, who added a stoppage time insurance goal, a spectacular performance from Hamid kept D.C. United in the match.
In the 31st minute, the NYRB’s Bradley Wright-Phillips nearly added another goal to his already record-breaking season. Chris Duvall lofted a cross to the goal area, finding Wright-Phillips’ head, but Hamid made a quick, diving two-handed block. Ten minutes later, Tim Cahill sent a low, far-post shot off the woodwork as Hamid shut down the angle.
Silva punished a Red Bulls miscue in the 57th minute to put his side up. Hamid launched a goal kick that Fabian Espindola flicked on for Silva. NYRB goalkeeper Luis Robles came outside his 18-yard box to make the stop, but Silva was able to tap it around him into an open goal.
Johnson added a goal in the 91st minute, again on a long ball. Perry Kitchen lobbed the ball to a sprinting Johnson, who collected behind the Red Bulls line. He chipped the ball over Robles’ head for a neat finish.
The win ends the month on a positive note for DCU after playing six MLS matches in August and losing three of them. They hold onto the lead atop the Eastern Conference table, four points clear of second-place Sporting Kansas City.
For the Red Bulls, Sunday was a lost chance to improve on their position just outside of playoff contention, two points away from fifth-place Columbus Crew.
Up next, D.C. United hit the road to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. That same day, the Red Bulls will host Sporting Kansas City.
Here are the match highlights: